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Safety and Efficacy of Fecal Microbiota Transplant for Recurrent Clostridium difficile Infection in Patients With Cancer Treated With Cytotoxic Chemotherapy: A Single-Institution Retrospective Case Series

      Abstract

      Objective

      To study the safety and efficacy of fecal microbiota transplant (FMT) for Clostridium difficile infection (CDI) in patients with cancer treated with cytotoxic chemotherapy in a single-institution retrospective case series.

      Patients and Methods

      Twenty-three consecutive patients with underlying hematologic (n=13) or solid (n=10) malignancies who underwent FMT for recurrent CDI from August 1, 2012, through June 30, 2016, were studied.

      Results

      All the patients had received cytotoxic chemotherapy a median of 12 months (range, 1-340 months) before FMT. Patients had experienced a median of 4 (range, 2-9) CDI episodes and had been treated with a median of 106 days (range, 42-495 days) of vancomycin, metronidazole, or fidaxomicin before FMT. Twelve patients (52%) had severe/severe-complicated CDI at some stage. Eight patients (35%) had active cancer and 5 (22%) had received chemotherapy within 12 weeks of FMT. Diarrhea resolved without recurrence within 60 days of FMT in all but 3 patients (13%) (all had negative C difficile results). Of the 22 patients who were alive 60 days or more after FMT, 11 (48%) underwent further chemotherapy and 10 (43%) received more antibiotics. Two patients (9%) developed recurrent CDI 14 and 22 months after FMT. One death occurred 5 days after FMT as a result of cardiac arrest unrelated to FMT. There were no other severe adverse events and no infectious complications directly attributable to FMT.

      Conclusion

      This series demonstrates that FMT is a highly effective and safe therapeutic option for multiply recurrent CDI in patients with cancer treated with cytotoxic chemotherapy.

      Abbreviations and Acronyms:

      AE (adverse event), CDI (Clostridium difficile infection), FMT (fecal microbiota transplant), HCT (hematopoietic cell transplant), SAE (severe adverse event)
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